Night Paddleboarding in Snowdonia

Night Paddleboarding in Snowdonia | Psyched Paddleboarding

I am very proud and delighted Snowdonia has been awarded Dark Sky Status, impressive as only 11 in the world has been given this. It is therefore such a wonderful experience to paddle off as the sun is setting, watching the sun disappear and the stars start to fill the sky. It is truly magical being away from it all, close to the water, your senses heightened as you go on an exciting journey exploring on SUP.

Fast Facts from Surfers Against Sewage

Here are some FAST FACTS from Surfers Against Sewage if you wish to use and share to raise awareness: 

- At least 267 marine species have suffered from contact with marine debris

- A 140% increase in plastic litter since 1994

- £18 million spent on removing beach litter annually by local authorities

- A Plastic bottle may persist in the marine environment for more than 450 years if left on a beach

- 8 million pieces of marine litter enter the sea every day. 

- 95% of fulmars in the North Sea have ingested plastic

- 37.4 percent of marine litter comes directly from the public

- Over 100,000 marine mammals and over 1 million seabirds die every year from ingestion of and entanglement in marine litter

- On average there are 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in every square mile of ocean

- Alarmingly, over the past 15 years the amount of marine litter washing up on UK beaches has almost doubled

- Did you know a cotton bud stick can take 150 years to break down in the marine environment

- More than 320 Sewage Related Debris items are found per mile of beach in the UK; these items include wet wipes, cotton bud sticks, and sanitary items

Surfers Against Sewage | Regional Rep

I am passionate about protecting our beautiful oceans, beaches and wildlife. I want to help to inspire, empower and educate others.

 

I'm a Regional Rep for Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) on Anglesey.

Last year the SAS Beach Clean Series saw over 3,500 volunteers who helped to remove 10 tonnes of rubbish from 160 beautiful beaches around the U.K.

The marine litter crisis is one the most significant threat to our oceans today. It is an environmental problem on a global scale and adversely impacts wildlife, the economy and human health.

In the last 12 months Surfers Against Sewage volunteers have collected over 20,000 single-use drinks containers at SAS beach cleaning events.

A significant part of this global problem can be tackled at a local level through initiatives including the Beach Clean's.

Let's do our bit to help protect our beaches, oceans and wildlife.

 

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Extreme Beach Clean | Surfers Against Sewage

A team from Surfers Against SewageKeep Wales TidyRib RideHalen Môn Sea Salt took part on the extreme beach clean. Rib Ride kindly organised and provided all volenteers an experience to access the remote beach via their RIB and journeying along the iconic Menai Straits to Abermenai.

From Surfers against Sewage, I have a team of 4, Cheryl, Sophie, Sion from Lligwy Beach Cafe and Alex. All passionate about helping to protect where we live and work.

Surfers Against Sewage | Team helpers for Beach Clean | Anglesey

We arrived at Abermenai Point and spent 2hours collecting marine litter. During our time their on the beach, we collected more than 39 bags of litter, big bulky plastic and fishing nest debris. Plus a phenomenal amount of cotton bud sticks! I was shocked to see so much cotton bud sticks washed up. We hardly scratched the surface!

Did you know a cotton bud stick can take 150 years to break down in the marine environment. 

More than 320 Sewage Related Debris items are found per mile of beach in the UK; these items include wet wipes, cotton bud sticks, and sanitary items. Think before you flush. Please share & educate.

Surfers Against Sewage | Beach clean | Think before you flush

Thank you to everyone who helped, I am so grateful for Rib Rides for providing the RIBS and for organising it all.

 

Let's help to protect our stunning beaches, oceans and wildlife. Please share & educate.

Peak UK Adventure Single | Review

Sian Sykes, wearing Adventure Single by Peak UK

When I am out SUP'ing on chilly days, I wear the Adventure Single. In North Wales,  we often experience four seasons in a day and this jacket is perfect for coping with the changing weather! It keeps me toasty and dry. It is also a great layer to wear as a wind barrier.  I wear this jacket when I am instructing, guiding and playing on my own SUP adventures. I love that it is light weight but still very durable and I certainly do not over heat when out SUP'ing. It is a jacket I feel very comfy wearing. 

The jacket has 2 front zip pockets and 1 arm zip pocket with inside loops, perfect for securing on a landyard with a mobile phone in a waterproof case, small laminate map etc. The wrists are latex and you can tighten the cuffs with velcro to ensure water doesn't seep in. The waist belt has a neoprene type finish with also velcro straps to tighten. I also love the hood, when I am out paddling in tough and challenging conditions, it keeps my head warm and dry. The hood is generously oversized with draw cords to enable a tight fit so it doesn't slide off or you can adjust to have a loose fit, perfect when I am wearing my hat or helmet.

I love the colour of the jacket, bright enough to be seen with also reflective sleeves, ideal for when I am out night SUP'ing.

The Adventure Single jacket, fits the bill, perfect for SUP adventures. Keeps me warm, dry and comfortable.

FEATURES

  • Articulated cut with bent elbows
  • Fully taped seams
  • Breathable and durable X3 mid weight ripstop nylon with 20m waterproofing
  • Zip opening outer neck and large adjustable hood with easy stow toggle
  • Opening neoprene inner neck
  • Latex inner wrists with Aquaout outer seals
  • Aquaout waist seal
  • Easy access double front zip pockets with sewn drainage holes
  • Reflective sleeve stripes
  • Zip pocket on LH sleeve

Sizes: XS. S. M. L. XL. XXL

COLOURS: Lime / Blue. Blue / Lime 

Buy online from: Peak UK

Official partner for Peak UK

I'm pretty stoked to be part of the Peak UK team as an official partner! For those who don't know Peak UK, they produce fantastic paddling gear! 

All my lovely guests wear Peak UK clothing so they feel comfortable paddling and of course look the part too!

PEAK UK ANNOUNCEMENT

Introducing the latest official Peak UK partner... Sian Sykes! 
Sian is the founder of Psyched Paddleboarding based in Anglesey, offering paddleboarding trips and courses. As well as having a number of SUP firsts to her name, Sian is active with Surfers Against Sewage in promoting cleaner beaches and oceans. 

We are delighted to welcome Sian to the team, check out her profile below!

http://www.peakuk.com/index.php?route=member/team&path=23_88

Surfers Against Sewage | Spring Beach Clean

Join me on the 7th April for the Surfers Against Sewage BIG SPRING BEACH CLEAN at #Rhosneiger, #Anglesey #ecover #plasticfreeoceans #oceanplastic

 

Some facts for you to understand the issues:

 

- There may be around 5.25 trillion macro and microplastic pieces floating in the open ocean. Weighing up to 269,000 tonnes

 

- 99 plastic bottles were found per km of UK beach in 2015

 

- 1 million sea birds are killed by plastic annually

 

- 100,000 marine mammals and turtles are killed by marine litter annually

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- It takes at least 450 years from a plastic bottle to break down

 

- More than 320 sanitary items are found per mile of beach in the UK

 

- On average, 28 wet wipes are found per mile of beach in the UK

 

- There has been a 140% increase in plastic litter since 1994

 

- UK water companies spend over £88million to clear sewer blockages every year

 

- Global production of plastic 311 million tonnes in 2014

 

Let's do our bit, help to inspire and educate others.

 

#oceanplastic #plasticfreecoastlines #ecover

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SAS - on Radio 2

Ace interview by Hugo from Surfers Against Sewage on BBC/Radio 2 with Chris Evans  raising awareness about #plasticoceans, deposit return system on plastic bottles, think before you flush and the Big Spring Clean. Listen here if you missed it: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04s4zcq


Some facts for you to understand the issues:


- There may be around 5.25 trillion macro and microplastic pieces floating in the open ocean. Weighing up to 269,000 tonnes


- 99 plastic bottles were found per km of UK beach in 2015


- 1 million sea birds are killed by plastic annually


- 100,000 marine mammals and turtles are killed by marine litter annually

25


- It takes at least 450 years from a plastic bottle to break down


- More than 320 sanitary items are found per mile of beach in the UK


- On average, 28 wet wipes are found per mile of beach in the UK


- There has been a 140% increase in plastic litter since 1994


- UK water companies spend over £88million to clear sewer blockages every year


- Global production of plastic 311 million tonnes in 2014


Let's do our bit, help to inspire and educate others.


#oceanplastic #plasticfreecoastlines #ecover

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#psychedforplasticfreeoceans

Psyched Paddleboarding are passionate about the environment, marine, bird and wildlife. We want to help to protect our beautiful oceans and land. We want to help to inspire and educate others. Here are some great suggestions for you to help do your bit to help make difference. 

 

 

- When you are out walking, or paddling, do a mini beach clean, Surfers Against Sewage has a great suggestion here: http://www.sas.org.uk/news/beach-cleans/minibeachclean

 

- Use a reusable mug when you are out and about to avoid using disposable cups with plastic lids

 

- Avoid buying drinks in plastic bottles. Use reusable bottle and take it out with you. Sadly I see so many plastic bottles washed up on my local beach

 

- Avoid using plastic carrier bags and use your own when you go  shopping

 

- Purchase paper cotton buds rather than plastic. I see no ends of these washed up on our beautiful beaches

 

- Avoid using disposable plastic cutlery and straws

 

- Sadly balloons are still being released into the outdoors and this has a massive impact on marine, bird and wildlife, be creative and think of a different way to mark a special occasion.

 

All these little tweaks and changes to your daily lives will make a difference. Please share your 2017 stories of you being mini eco warriors by tagging Psyched Paddleboarding and using #psychedforplasticfreeoceans tag as I would love to see what you are doing to help where you live and play. Together we can all create a ripple effect and make a difference.

 

Much love Sian & Ruby xx

Planning for SUP expedition

I'm so stoked to be featured in SUP International Magazine this month!! Four page spread giving advice planning for a #SUP expedition. 

'Get Psyched...Sian Sykes helps get your head in gear for your first paddling Expediton'

'I simply love expeditions; I enjoy the real sense of adventure experiencing different cultures, immersing myself in wilderness and feeling like a true explorer! The outside is a playground full of potential; be it journeying on lakes, canals or on the sea. That's why SUP is so perfect, you have the freedom to take your board and go off on exciting expeditions: have board, will travel.'

Get your copy here http://www.sup-internationalmag.com/subscriptions/

SUP in Snowdonia

Snowdonia National Park is the largest National Park in Wales, Snowdonia boasts the highest mountain in England and Wales, and the largest natural lake in Wales. A perfect place for true adventure!

I personally love it for its beauty, it's colour, the wilderness, the landscape, the breathtaking view, the solitude and the total freedom of escaping, away from the hectic pace of life and being able to re connect with nature. I enjoy bracing its wild elements and being truly submerged in its glorious surroundings. SUP in Snowdonia is a such a wonderful adventure.

Keen to join for SUP in Snowdonia? We offer a fantastic SUP & Hike in beautiful Snowdonia.

This is an exciting stand up paddleboard guided adventure lead by Sian, a qualified SUP Instructor and International Mountain Leader. The day is spent hiking to a stunning mountain and SUP across a tranquil lake in the spectacular setting of Snowdonia. Enjoy the atmosphere, the change in environment, re connect with nature, enjoy the solitude and time out from the hustle and bustle. This is a true Snowdonia SUP wilderness.

WHAT OUR GUESTS THINK:

"Just had the best weekend ever! Booked a SUP and hike day trip (our second psyched Paddleboarding!) with Sian and absolutely loved it. The location was perfect, well off the beaten track, with the most fantastic views and scenery all around. Sian's experience and knowledge is first rate which provides great confidence and really interesting facts. We had so much fun and learnt so much. We came back relaxed and refreshed as she had literally thought of everything (and more!) The kit and tuition was fantastic, the photos we received after also a really nice touch. I'm totally hooked on Wales, Standup Paddle boarding and can't wait for our next Psyched Paddleboarding Adventure. Could not recommend enough."

"A perfect setting to paddle in Snowdonia on a SUP. Sian is highly qualified, knows the area incredibly well, I love her little welsh folklore stories! Her kit and her attention to detail is fantastic and I will treasure the magical experience dearly."

Health Benefits of Stand up Paddleboarding

Health Benefits of Stand up Paddleboarding

Here are some health benefits to Standup Paddleboarding (SUP). Why don't you give it a go.

  • Improves balance: Actually standing up on the board requires a lot of core stability and leg strength in order to maintain a good balance and avoid falling into the water, so SUP gives your core an excellent workout.
  • Great body workout: Almost every muscle in your body is used at some point during paddleboarding. Because of the balance required, leg muscles and core will be working extra hard to stabilise you, while the abdominal muscles, arms, back and shoulders are used to help you move the board in the water. So it’s a fantastic full body work out!
  • Reduces stress: Water naturally relaxes the body and exercise helps to reduce stress. When you are out paddleboarding you get into a mediative state by focusing on the rhythms of your stroke and being close to the water. It’s a wonderful feeling being away from the hectic pace of daily life and being on the water. The stress you feel starts to melts away whilst you are out paddling.
  • Great cardio workout: If you spend enough time out on the water paddleboarding, you can get a great cardio workout! To push yourself a little you can race your friends or try interval training while paddling to make it a bit more challenging – a great way to get the heart rate up.
  • Improves your mood: Being out on the water is calming, and a great opportunity to reconnect with nature. It’s amazing what bird and marine life you will see on your journey on a SUP. I’ve been fortunate to see seals, porpoise and watch jelly fish elegantly float past me. It can have such a positive effect on your overall mental health and attitude.
  • Low impact: SUP is easy on the joints and ligaments.
Psyched Paddlebosarding | Health Benefits doing SUP

SUP Safety Advice

This SUP Safety Guide is designed to make you aware of what areas you need to consider and plan for when embarking on a SUP adventure so that you are fully prepared for any issue that could arise.

SUP Safety & Awareness Skills Course | Psyched Paddleboarding

The key areas to consider when making your plans are:

Weather – Pay particular attention to the wind speed and direction, this is a key factor for people to consider when going out for the day paddleboarding. It is a safety risk, anything above 12 knots, I would not recommend going out in as a SUP can easily get affected by the wind by being blown into obstacles or blown off course. Beware of off-shore winds that make it difficult to return to shore.

Keeping warm - When dealing with a water environment you need to consider how are you going to mange to keep  warm and dry. Being submerged in water without suitable kit will make you cold and could result in hypothermia. So make sure you have a wet or dry suit that has been properly maintained and will work effectively.

Location - what are exist / escape routes if you need to bail. Any potential risks with the location where you are paddling?

Type of water - Will you be facing any tides, tidal races or gnarly white water? Are you skilled to deal with different water conditions you may face on your journey?  Its all about preparing your sup journey based around your ability. If not then consider taking a course to equip you with this knowledge .

Communication - How are you going to communicate for example to the emergency services? Also you need to consider how are you going to access your comms and how to keep it dry? Its no good to you if they are all stashed away in a dry bag on your board and you become separated, how will you communicate for help?

Kit - You need to know what kit are you going to take with you on your SUP journey. You need to use a leash (which connects to your board) and/or personal flotation device. Also know how your kit works, don’t be that person who ‘has all the gear but no idea how to use it", thoroughly test it and feel confident, so that in an emergency you will not panic.

Food & water -  have the right food with high enough calories and the right nutrition so you don’t suffer with any fatigue. Also it's important to keep hydrated whilst out paddleboarding.

Rescues - Are you fully skilled with self or peer rescues? Are you first aid trained to deal with an emergency?

I strongly recommend before embarking on a SUP journey that you need to train dealing with a number of scenarios so you feel fully prepared for your expedition. For example practice dealing with a scenario of being trapped by your leash, repairing your board whilst being on the water, accessing a flare, rescuing someone who is unconscious, dealing with hypothermia.

Remember whilst out paddleboarding not only do you need to consider yourself, but any impact you might have on others, for example the emergency services and the general public. 

My advice is to SUP in a safe environment and get to know your board, your kit and how to use it all in an emergency situation s and in different weather conditions. Practice self rescue and peer rescue. Understand your environment and assess the risks and mitigate those risks.

In the outdoors, accidents are rarely caused by a single disasterous event, it's more of a 'domino effect'. Accidents are often the results of decisions and events combining together that add up to create sufficient potential to cause an accident. 

My recommendation for people who are keen to try paddleboarding is to book onto a lesson with a qualified professional. If you are hooked and feel inspired and want to go on your own SUP adventures, book onto a SUP Safety and awareness course so you have the right skills, tools and knowledge to SUP safely.

Further information of SUP Safety & Awareness Skills courses can be found here

Psyched Paddleboarding - High quality kit

When you come paddle boarding with me in Anglesey & Snowdonia in North Wales, I provide all the following so you don't have to worry:

* Full SUP equipment, paddle board, paddle & leash
* High quality changing robe, rash vest, wetsuit & jacket
* Instruction from a highly qualified SUP & adventure guides
* Group first aid kit with qualified first aiders
* Unfettered local knowledge
* Photographs taken during the activity
* Herbal tea & biscuits

Psyched Paddleboarding | Kit

Looking after yourself

When you are so active and away from home it's so hard to get a good balance diet especially when you have a tricky diet like mine, vegan and wheat intolerant. I saw a nutritionist and she explained for a vegan I was shocking at taking in green food into my body, that was a well and truly kick up the bottom. Since then I'm more aware and conscious what I put into my body to keep me healthy. I discovered these amazing sachets by Body Me, Super Greens and Sprialina, ideal for expedition, sprinkle in porridge oats, perfect!

Talking girls stuff | sanitation on expedition

Being active in the outdoors, going to remote locations all over the world I've learnt the best way to look after myself. I was recently introduced to Moon Cup, an amazing alternative to tampons and sanitary towels as it has less impact on the environment and on your body. Moon cup allows you to stay active and confident, it lasts up to 12 hours, you insert it and take it out and wash it out and sterilise and then can re use. At first it's tricky mastering taking it out but after a few times and some deep controlled breathing its pretty easy to do.

Paddleboarding around mull

I headed off on a Scottish adventure, to the West Coast to explore parts of Mull on a stand up paddle board (SUP). 

Psyched Paddleboarding | Mull

paddled around a small island, it was beautifully still at first, wonderful reflections from the mountains. As soon as I got to the island the wind picked up and was treated to some SUP surfing.  

We then spent a night on the remote island enjoying peace and quiet, connecting with nature and the stunning surrounding area. We were treated to seeing a sea otter, 5m from us enjoying kelp in the warm evening sunshine. 

We made a bivvi from the paddle boards and slept under a tarp, fully lit by a full moon. A perfect mini adventure on the SUP.